“Undoing” by L.L. Diamond, review

Dear all,

I am super glad to welcome again to my blog: L. L. Diamond. You may remember her from previous visits or because she writes beautifully!

If by any chance you do not know her, here you have a few interesting facts about Leslie:

L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way.leslie

After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Leslie’s books include Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, An Unwavering Trust, The Earl’s Conquest, Particular Intentions, Particular Attachments, Unwrapping Mr. Darcy, It’s Always Been You, It’s Always Been Us, It’s Always Been You and Me, and Undoing, which was realised just yesterday.

Visit Leslie’s website lldiamondwrites.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.

Leslie has kindly asked me to review her latest book: Undoing and I could not say no as I have enjoyed her books for a few years now. I hope you like it when you get the chance to read it. Let me give you a bit of information about the book:

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet had always hoped to marry for love—that is until she surrenders to her mother’s demands and marries the handsome Duke of Leeds. Thrust into a society disinclined to accept a country nobody who somehow entrapped one of their most prominent members, Elizabeth holds her head high, ignoring their whispers and stares and a husband whose indifferent behaviour confuses her. Her marriage of convenience is nothing like what she expected.

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a man torn. After meeting the Duchess of Leeds at a ball, he is fascinated by her intelligence and humour, but how does one maintain a respectable friendship with a lady—particularly when that lady is the wife of his cousin and godfather? His father and his sister both love Elizabeth, and he quickly realises he loves her as well, though not as one loves a cousin or even a sister. His feelings must stay hidden from everyone, particularly Elizabeth, but how is he to keep himself under such strict regulation when he is constantly thrown into her company? How does one prevent their own undoing?

Poor Darcy… Duchess! Her mother must be very happy 😀

Review

I do apologise but I need to start with one of my SPOILERS!

.

.

.

.

.

.

Undoing has a happy ending 😉

However, even as I knew this, it was a bit of a stressing reading. Not really angsty but stressing. There was no way I could see how the HEA was going to happen because when it seemed that it was there, zas! another problem that just delayed the inevitable… happy Ever After.

Anyway, let me tell you my opinion about the book: it is a delightful read. However, I need to point out that there are scenes with adult content, I do not mind them but I know there are people who do not like them.

Now… where was I? Yes, a happy ending. How difficult is to get to that point? Very.

Elizabeth marries a man who does not love her and who she does not love either but at least he is not a mean husband but, he hides a huge secret from her. She does her role, she is a Duchess and she behaves properly among the ton but she does not have a husband-wife relationship. He is not able to get her pregnant and she is alone. However, his family has liked her very much, both sides of the family and especially the Darcy branch: Georgiana Darcy and the old Mr. Darcy and his son Fitzwilliam Darcy. However, Fitwilliam Darcy is too attracted to her and he cannot avoid being near her even if it is not proper. Does she return her feelings? Who cares? Maybe but he cannot try anything. But what happens when somebody else takes the decision for you and forces situations against your will? Well, then you may be lost. However, eventually, with a lot of suffering and time it can be the best possible outcome.

I am aware that I have not told you much on that big paragraph but I cannot spoil the story.

However, if you want to fret about a happy ending, if you still want to read about a headstrong Elizabeth, about a passionate Darcy and a out-of-character Colonel Fitzwilliam (surprising but understandable when Leslie explains it), this is your book. You will like Jane and her husband… nope, no Bingley (oops sorry for the spoiler 😉 )

4.5out5 stars

Would you like to buy the book? You can do it on:

Amazon US          Amazon CA        Amazon UK          Amazon ES       Amazon DE

“Mr. Darcy’s Clan” by Lari Ann O’Dell, guest post, excerpt and giveaway

The upper echelon of English society—comprised of vampires, or Firstborn Sons—is a world Elizabeth Bennet has no desire to join. She has little exposure to Firstborn Sons until Mr. Bingley arrives in the neighborhood and falls in love with her sister Jane. His mysterious friend, Mr. Darcy, attracts Elizabeth’s attention, but she is convinced he is hiding a dark secret. In spite of this, powerful feelings draw her to him. She learns a shocking truth when Mr. Wickham appears, and disaster strikes at Netherfield. Forced into Mr. Darcy’s supernatural realm, a confusing new world of danger threatens their deepening love. How can they find eternal happiness when members of his illustrious clan are plotting her demise? Can Mr. Darcy rise beyond his past to save her or will he lose her for all eternity?

Hello, what do you think of this blurb? Yes, vampires! As you know I do not mind a Mr. Darcy-vampire because it seems that he is even “colder” and then I imagine that his love for Elizabeth is even stronger. Moreover, she is drawn to him too… What do you think so far? I hope you are intrigued as I am because apart from the topic, I am very glad to welcome for the first time Lari Ann O’Dell to My Vices and Weaknesses, and I hope it will not be the last time.

I have to admit that I did not know her until recently and she is not even a new author, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, the book she is introducing today is her third book already. In case you did not know her, let me tell you a bit about her. If you are one of the lucky ones who already knows her, maybe you will get to know a bit more about her:

Lari Ann O’Dell first discovered her love of Pride & Prejudice when she was eighteen. After reading a Pride & Prejudice variation she found in a closing sale at a bookstore, she said, “This is what I want to do.” She published her first novel, Mr. Darcy’s Kiss, two years later.IMG_6861

Born and raised in Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Creative Writing. After graduating college, she wrote and published her second novel, Mr. Darcy’s Ship. Her third novel, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, is her first supernatural variation, and she is working on two more fantasy variationsShe is now back at school and pursuing a degree in Nursing. She adores her two beautiful nephews, Hudson and Dean. She currently works at a middle school and writes whenever she can.

What do you think? Did something catch your attention? She is working on two more books!

I recommend you to follow her, and you can do it on different platforms:

Facebook            Twitter           Amazon-Author      Goodreads   Facebook Author Page

Sometimes I wonder how authors get such “crazy” and original ideas to mix something “normal” with fantasy. I actually like it but I marvel at their imagination. To help me with my doubts, Lari Ann will tell us a bit more about vampires and her vampires, and she is letting us have a look at Mr. Darcy’s Clan with a really nice excerpt. Enjoy!

Hello, dear readers. It is a pleasure to be here at My Vices and Weaknesses. I am excited to talk about my newest release, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, a vampire Pride & Prejudice variation.

So let’s talk about vampires. Throughout the history of film, television, and literature, there are hundreds of representations of vampires. We’ve all heard about the sparkly, vegetarian vampires of Twilight, the cheesy nineties vampires of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, of course, Dracula.

When I sat down to write this variation, I wanted to present my vampires in a new way. While I followed some tropes and vampire rules, there are others that I broke. My vampires cannot see their own reflections, which makes ladies’ maids and valets all the more important for the upper class. They do perish in direct sunlight, but as it is an established rule in my variation that there is no direct sunlight in England, that element does not directly come into play. My vampires are immortal and, of course, must drink blood to survive. Some vampires in my variation have the ability to enthrall people and bend them to their will.

But how are they different? I did not want my vampires to be the monsters in the night that everyone feared. I wanted to create a Regency world wherein vampires are fully integrated into society. Not only that, but they are respected and even revered. Naturally, it made sense to start with the English monarchy.

I have always been fascinated with Henry VIII and the Tudors. King Henry VIII’s struggle, and ultimately, failure, to provide a living male heir, his dissension from the Catholic Church, and his bloody history with his wives seemed an interesting jumping off point. So, I devised an alternate and supernatural history. This history is detailed in the Introduction of the book.

The next hurdle to overcome was how to integrate vampires, known as Firstborn Sons, into society. Vampires coming from the monarchy was a good first step, but it wasn’t enough. So, I established a code of honor, civility, and propriety for my vampires to live by. This set of laws is known as the Dictates.

The Dictates outlined in detail how a Firstborn Son of England would behave. These rules outlawed killing humans for sport, banned the Siring of vampires who were not Firstborn Sons or their chosen partners, and demanded that Firstborn Sons would only feed from the poor. These traditions allowed vampires to survive and thrive in English society.

My vampires are much more human in nature than other iterations of vampires. They are capable of deep, eternal love. They are capable of procreation. They comport themselves in a proper manner, with a few notable exceptions. (I am looking at you, George Wickham and Lady Catherine.)  Firstborn Sons do not go on killing sprees, only taking what they need to survive. Unfortunately, the poor are the main source of blood, a pathetic yet true reflection of the very strong division of classes in Regency England.

Firstborn Sons find their Eternal Partners through a phenomenon called the Call of the Blood. It is the vampire equivalent of love at first sight. When a Firstborn Son encounters his future mate for the first time, there is a primal sensation he feels, down to the very essence of his being; his blood. It is a sure sign that a vampire has met his perfect match.

We see this phenomenon very early with Darcy, when he first encounters Elizabeth Bennet at Lucas Lodge. Of course, part of Darcy’s struggle is his fight against nature. In this variation, the Call of the Blood is not known to be wrong. So when poor Darcy senses it for Elizabeth Bennet, who has no notable connections of fortune, he is mortified. He valiantly attempts to fight his vampiric instincts, knowing that as much as he despises his situation, he owes it to his family and clan to marry a woman of fortune. But the more time he spends in Elizabeth’s company, the more he comes to appreciate her charms, her wit, and her beauty. He begins to realize that she is the only woman with whom he wishes to spend an eternity. But by the time he accepts that he is in love with Elizabeth, he has already offended her and hurt her pride, and his journey to eternal happiness with Elizabeth is not an easy one. But rest assured, lovely readers, that Mr. Darcy’s Clan has a happily ever after.

The excerpt I am sharing today is when Darcy first feels the Call of the Blood for Elizabeth Bennet. One of my favorite scenes to adapt in any variation is Darcy’s famous declaration that Elizabeth is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt him!

What was delightful about writing this scene was the fact that Darcy’s words were in such great conflict with his instincts. In this excerpt, we can already see him struggle to fight his attraction to Elizabeth. It results in him heedlessly stating words he will quickly come to regret and establishes his reputation in Hertfordshire as a man who is unpleasant, proud, and arrogant. And since Elizabeth has the misfortune of overhearing his slight against her, an unpromising beginning ensues.

——————————-

Gentlemen were scarce compared to ladies so Elizabeth was obliged to sit out for part of the dancing. Overall this was not much of a punishment. Elizabeth was quite content to observe as Jane danced with Mr. Bingley a second time. How unlike his friend he was! 

After that dance ended, Elizabeth observed Bingley crossing the room. She had not noticed that Mr. Darcy had removed himself from the hearth and was now only a few feet away from her. She was in a position to overhear a conversation she ought not to have heard.

***

“Come, Darcy,” Mr. Bingley said, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.”

Darcy was unmoved by his friend’s perturbed speech. “I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. I have no desire to encourage Caroline’s wishes, and Mrs. Hurst is unavailable. It would be insupportable for me to dance with any other young lady here tonight.”

“I would not be so fastidious as you are for a kingdom!” Mr. Bingley cried. “I have never met with a more pleasant group of young ladies. The women of the ton care only about how they shall spend their Eternities. In this part of the country, the people savor every moment, for it is even more precious knowing that their time may never be infinite. You must dance.”

Bingley looked around the room, and his gaze landed on a young lady with dark hair and bright eyes. “There is one of Miss Bennet’s sisters, Miss Elizabeth. I daresay even you would find her very agreeable, and she is uncommonly pretty. Shall I make an introduction?”

Had Darcy’s heart been capable of beating, it certainly would have skipped a beat. He hesitated, then glanced over at Miss Elizabeth. Her gaze was lowered, but her lips were curved into a smile. Her bowed head gave him an excellent view of the ivory column of her slender neck, and Darcy was suddenly overwhelmed by the urge to go to her. His blood sang for this woman, though she was unknown to him.

He turned back to his friend, attempting to look displeased. “She is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. It was almost painful to say the words that contradicted his primal urges to such a degree. But he was enough master of himself to control his actions, no matter what his blood may be compelling him to do. “Go back to your Miss Bennet and enjoy her smiles for you are wasting your time with me.”

To Darcy’s great relief, Bingley turned away to seek Miss Bennet again. Darcy knew without question that he needed to get out of Miss Elizabeth’s presence. He would ride his horse back to Netherfield. It did not matter to him that this would reflect poorly on his character. He cared not what the people in Hertfordshire thought of him. There was one thing of which he was certain: Miss Elizabeth Bennet was a danger to him, and if he dared to spend time with her, that could ruin everything.

What do you think? He says the “tolerable” when he is already in danger! Is it powerful or not what he feels? Apologies, it looks like if I have forgotten Lari Ann’s explanations about her vampire-world and I have not, but you need to be honest and tell me that you did like that scene!

I appreciate having the fantasy part of the story described and clarified because as she points out, there are many different characteristics for the vampires. It is important to to mix ideas, her vampires do not glow in the sun because they cannot be in the sun.

What do you think so far of the book? If you are thinking on buying it, here you can find it:

Amazon US       Amazon UK       Amazon CA       Amazon DE

Blog Tour

You need to check the other stops on the tour, you will enjoy it immensely!

March 24 Savvy Verse & Wit MDC Blog Tour Banner Vert

March 25 Donadee’s Corner

March 26 Diary of an Eccentric

March 27  More Agreeably Engaged

March 30 My Vices and Weaknesses

March 31 So Little Time…

April 2 From Pemberley to Milton

April 3  Babblings of a Bookworm

April 6 Austenesque Reviews

 

time to give away winners

Why don’t you participate on the giveaway of 8 ebooks of Mr. Darcy’s Clan? Eight winners for this intriguing book.

Click on the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Mr. Darcy’s Clan

“When Duty Calls” by Belén, character interview

Hola a todos 🙂

I hope everybody is taking care and being safe at home. Let’s enjoy a bit more reading now that we have to remain at home and luckily we may enjoy a bit more of free time.

I am happy to welcome again an author with whom I share mother tongue but, I presume, loves reading anything austenesque in English: Belén Paccagnella. Belén is doing an amazing blog tour with her latest book: When Duty Calls. Let me talk about the cover of this book before getting into the story… in the hypothetical case that you have landed on my blog but have not read anything at all about this novel, what do you think about the cover? Yes, it is simply beautiful: the colours, the contrast of light and dark but.. they are kissing! That couple at the front is kissing! OMG! This is the first thing that may shout at you as “this book is promising”.

I know that a lot of JAFF readers only like clean variations and I totally respect that. I actually like almost any variation and, on my top 10 of JAFF books you can find clean versions, they tend to be very sweet. However, let me show you the description of this book and then we keep talking 🙂

The Netherfield ball brings about many changes for the population of Meryton, and more so for the female residents of Longbourn. Mr. Bingley’s departure leaves the eldest, Jane Bennet, heartbroken whilst Mr. Collins’s proposal induces Miss Elizabeth to make a hasty escape. During her flight, she happens upon Mr. Darcy, a gentleman she despises. A moment of solitude in the woods leads to rather improper behavior, and the couple departs with the promise they will tell no one about their minor indiscretion. When their secret is finally uncovered, marriage becomes the only solution to saving Elizabeth from social disgrace. Her other grudges against Mr. Darcy are amplified by resentment and the prospect of spending her life with a man she can never respect. Nonetheless, the marriage takes place, forcing the young couple to deal with their pride and prejudices as husband and wife.

Originally posted online almost twenty years ago, this Regency tale of redemption narrates the struggles of two people, their differences, and their rocky start. But will they succeed in overcoming lies, misunderstandings, and their own errors to finally find love?

So… improper behaviour? Noooo, it cannot be and they are going to keep it secret? I do not know about you but this blurb has totally hooked me because even if I do like a kiss before being betrothed or something similar, although the word “improper” sounds so bad! However, it may not be bad or yes or maybe… I leave it there.

Who is Belén Paccagnella? Let me (re)introduce you to her:

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Belén Paccagnella discovered the world of Jane Austen fan fiction after watching the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice. In her teens, she lived in Brazil when her family moved to the city of Curitiba due to her father’s work. She moved back to Buenos Aires a few years later, where she studied agronomy but finally pursued a different career and started working in the development and administration of shopping centers.belen

In 2001, she began writing both Regency and modern stories, adapting the Pride and Prejudice storyline to different backdrops, merging drama, humor, and adventure while creating characters with unique traits. Almost two decades later, she published Obstacles, a modern variation released in 2018 by Meryton Press.

Belén still lives in the suburbs of Buenos Aires where she shares her home with her pets while spending her time working, reading, and writing.

If you would like to follow Belén, you could do it here:

Facebook           Twitter            Instagram

Character interview

I do not know how you would feel knowing that Belén is not doing the character interview 😉 Who will interview Mrs Elizabeth Darcy? I hope you enjoy this interview, it is refreshing and gives a few things away…

I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy six years ago, when she came first to Derbyshire soon after her wedding to our dear neighbour, Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley. Elizabeth is a most intriguing character and a truly generous lady when it comes to sharing her thoughts regarding her life as a married woman. Being a fictional character myself, vaguely mentioned once in this Pride and Prejudice variation, I decided I was the right person to conduct this character interview, thus satisfying the readers’ rapacity for spoilers and my own dream of becoming a social columnist. Since Elizabeth’s youth and background has been explored thoroughly in the original novel, I shall focus my questions in her impromptu marriage to the Master of Pemberley and how it affected her life. Thank you, Ana, for hosting my humble attempt at journalism in your blog, My Vices and Weaknesses. Never a name so consistent with my dreams and expectations!

                                                                        Lady Eugenia Archer

     LEA: Fanfiction writers have adapted your story to almost every backdrop and timeline that exists. Their imagination knows no limits when it comes to narrating your love story with Fitzwilliam Darcy. I have read about you in the past, the future, in almost every known culture known or invented by men, either here on Earth or in space. How do you feel about your life and most intimate feelings being exposed or altered for other people’s enjoyment?

     ED: (laughs) Delighted! I truly enjoy being a literature icon. As long as I end the story married to my dear husband William, I don’t mind what obstacles these exceedingly creative writers throw in our way.

     LEA: Even if they marry you to Colonel Fitzwilliam first?

     ED: I would rather marry Richard than Mr. Collins, if you ask. I know there are a few of those out there. (shudders).

     LEA: It is universally known that he proposed to you. (arches a knowing eyebrow)

     ED: And it’s universally known that I refused him. Most emphatically!

     LEA: Which leads us to this particular story, a forced marriage scenario.  It starts with you running away from Mr. Collins after he proposes, and you happen upon Mr. Darcy in the woods. How do you feel about what happened between the two of you that day? Do you consider Darcy’s behaviour as faulty as yours?

     ED: The blame is almost entirely his. I say almost because William insists that I have been flirting with him since the beginning of our acquaintance.

     LEA: Were you?

     ED: At least not consciously! Men can be clueless at times and interpret women’s attitude to their own convenience. But, in his defence, I can say I had always enjoyed teasing him, stirring the hornet’s nest, if you understand my meaning. And considering how much he fancied me at the time, in retrospective, that might have given him the wrong impression. William is a very passionate man, quite impulsive, and sometimes he fails in reigning back that passion, like it happened that day. If you don’t believe me, ask Lt. Wickham. It was William’s incapability to withhold his temper what made him attend his own wedding with a purple eye. Which, by the way, became a fashion statement. I have been told it matched the colour of my sister’s gown.

     LEA: You’ll tell me about that later (smiles). We already know the author’s thoughts on forced marriage stories, since she shared them in Janet’s interview posted at More Agreeable Engaged. Would you like to tell me yours? How did you feel about being forced to marry a man you disliked so much?

     ED: I was very angry. I could not imagine how we would manage to achieve a decent degree of happiness with my hatred for him and his family opposing the match. The anger dissipated a bit during the engagement, but when I learned what he did to my sister, I was truly despondent. The first weeks of our marriage we were both immersed in great sorrow. At the time I felt I would be miserable for the rest of my life. Fortunately, all that was reversed as we became better acquainted. 

     LEA: I noticed there was something amiss between the two of you when I first met you, the night you dined with us at Thornaby Hall. That was quite early in your marriage. Although I did not perceive any particular animosity, there was a distance between the two of you that was unusual for a newly wedded couple.

     ED: We were just beginning to understand each other at the time. Although I was already in love with him, I had not made my feelings known to him yet. I was not certain about his sentiments either, so I was at loss of what to do. My thoughts at that time are reflected on the excerpt the author posted for the Valentine Special. Later that day, William, Georgiana and I happened upon Lord Archer on the streets of Lambton, and he invited us to dine at your home. That was a turning point for me.  Although unintentionally, that day William said something that broke my heart. It made me realize how much my words had wounded him. From them on, I tried my best to show him that I truly cared for him. It took us some time to finally become a couple in every sense, but that was the starting point for my change of attitude. Now neither of us can understand life without the other.

     LEA: Does your sister’s marriage to Lt. Wickham have to do with this delay?

     ED: Indeed! The news of Lydia’s elopement reached me the day we shared our first kiss after our wedding. Well, perhaps it was not precisely the first one. We had shared a couple of kisses before that one, but those were merely stolen kisses that took the other by surprise. I don’t think they count as the first kiss. Then he left for London for a fortnight, and I began to have doubts about how Lydia’s reckless behaviour would affect our marriage. At some point I feared he might—

     LEA: I must stop you here and say spoiler alert! Let us not give away too much of the plot, shall we? However, since this scene has already been posted online during the blog tour, at Savvy Verse & Wit, would you tell me the anecdote about Wickham’s blue eye? How did that happen?

     ED: (laughs) I cannot tell you much about it, for I did not have the pleasure of witnessing it, and William did not share with me the details of why he punched Wickham on the face. All I can tell you is of my husband’s broken hand. Which, by the way, earned him a lecture from his boxing master. He’s quite a conscientious teacher and never fails to chastise his pupil when he does something wrong. You can read more about my husband’s fondness for pugilism on the 8th stop of this blog tour, at Austenesque Reviews.

     LEA: One last question so the readers can learn more about you after the story ends. I heard the author decided not to include an epilogue for this published version of When Duty Calls, although I know there was one, originally. You are now reaching the end of your confinement. I imagine you must be exhausted, taking care of your husband and two children while assisting your sister Georgiana in the preparations for her wedding. How do you find the strength to do all that while keeping your fresh, beautiful countenance? What’s your secret? My feet were so swollen during my confinements that I could hardly put my shoes on!

     ED: (laughs along) Long walks and a loving husband who rubs my feet every night! And, of course, a battalion of servants ready to satisfy my every whim. Being the mistress of Pemberley has many benefits, and wealth is just one of them (winks and rubs her belly).

What do you think? Have you enjoyed it? I have really liked Lady Eugenia Archer’s interview to Elizabeth. I think it helps having another character who has been there, even if briefly.

I cannot wait to read about Wickham’s blue eye and about how they got to be forced into a marriage and, most importantly, how love was born!

If you cannot wait either, you can but the book on different places, such as:

Amazon US        Amazon UK          Amazon CA        Amazon DE

Blog Tour

If you have liked or loved this character interview as much as I have, in case you have not done it before, check the rest of the entries on this tour, they are awesome! If you do not know where to start, go back to the character interview and check all the blogs mentioned 🙂 (you have all the entries on the links below)

WDC BT Schedule M

 Diary of an Eccentric

So Little Time…

Austenprose

Babblings of a Bookworm

Savvy Verse & Wit

Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

Austenesque Reviews

More Agreeably Engaged

From Pemberley to Milton

My Vices and Weaknesses

 

time to give away winners

Meryton Press is giving away 8 ebooks of When Duty Calls to eight fortunate winners.

Click on the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – When Duty Calls

“Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl”

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for another amazing collection of stories edited by Christina Boyd. After The Darcy MonologuesYuletide, Dangerous to Knowand Rational Creatures she is introducing Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, and how much do you like it already only with the tiny bit of information that I have given you?

Let me give you some more info:

“Obstinate, headstrong girl!” For over two hundred years, Elizabeth Bennet has enchanted and inspired readers by being that “obstinate, headstrong girl” willing to stand up to the arrogance and snobbery of her so-called betters. Described by Austen as having a “lively, playful disposition,” Elizabeth embodies the perfect imperfections of strong-willed women everywhere: she is spirited, witty, clever, and loyal.

In this romance anthology, ten Austenesque authors sketch Elizabeth’s character through a collection of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times. In ELIZABETH: OBSTINATE, HEADSTRONG GIRL, she bares her most intimate thoughts, all the while offering biting social commentary about life’s absurdities. Elizabeth overcomes the obstacles of others’ opinions, not to mention her own flaws, to find a love truly worthy of her—her Mr. Darcy—all with humor and her sparkling charm.

“I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print…” wrote Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, January 1813―and we think so too!

Foreword by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare.

Stories by Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, Joana Starnes, Karen M Cox, Elizabeth Adams, Leigh Dreyer, J. Marie Croft, and Christina Boyd.

Yes, 10 stories!! and yes, Christina has written one of them and you will really like it 🙂

Giveaway Grandprize backlist books

However, this post is not only for Elizabeth but for a great author that not only entertains me with her stories but she makes me learn about other decades of the 20th century too. Please welcome Beau North!

Beau North is an author and host of the podcasts Excessively Diverted: Modern Classics On-Screen and Let’s Get Weirding: A Dune Podcast as well as a staff writer for The Spool. You can connect with Beau via her website.

Why Elizabeth? by Beau North

4Limelight cover_ElizabethHello readers of My Vices & Weaknesses! Thanks for giving me space to talk about my contribution to this incredibly special project. When setting up this blog tour, editor Christina Boyd asked us to write about what inspired our stories and why we love Elizabeth Bennet. For myself, Elizabeth Bennet is a highly relatable protagonist. As a woman from a small country town that had to grow up with financial struggles, I identified with her more than most of the heroines I’d read. Her somewhat-cynical worldview leads her to make mistakes, but in true heroine fashion, she learns from them and grows as a person. And that’s someone worth rooting for, even 200 years later.

OHG quote

As for what inspired my story, “Love in Limelight”, I owe a great portion of it to my favorite podcast, The Secret History of Hollywood. In his “Bullets and Blood” series, host Adam Roche details the lives of the Warner family and the life of actor James Cagney. The Warner family fled Cossack-occupied Poland and would revolutionize cinema with the invention of the talking picture. It was the story of Sam Warner and his wife—Ziegfeld Girl Lina Basquette—that really captured my heart, and the long struggle that Lina endures after Sam’s tragic demise.

In “Love in Limelight”, Georgiana Darcy (stage name Gigi Duvall) is a tender mix of of Lina Basquette and Shirley Temple, as both actresses found success at a young age but struggled to maintain a career as they got older.

Picture 3

In his follow-up series, “Shadows”, Roche explores the life of producer Val Lewton, who made some of the most beautiful early auteur suspense movies on a shoestring budget. Lewton’s aunt, the great Alla Nazimova, is a slight inspiration for my Eliza Bennet, who began her career on the stage and eventually moved into the world of pictures. Alla Nazimova was the original superstar…think Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie rolled into one. And while my Eliza only has eyes for Darcy, Nazimova favored the fairer sex. She lived the last few decades of her life openly with her partner Glesca Marshall. There’s even a nod to this relationship in “Love in Limelight”.

Picture 4

I’ve always been fascinated with all of the behind-the-scenes goings on of the people who bring fiction and history to life on screen, whether it’s the producers, actors, even directors of photography have fascinating stories. But how to mix that all with Austen’s most beloved heroine and not lose sight of what makes readers love Elizabeth Bennet? It presented more of a challenge than I’d originally counted on. In the end, all of these characters are a mix of Austen’s characters and real players in Hollywood during the golden age of cinema. You’ll meet a Caroline who is also part Hedda Hopper, a Collins who enforces the Morality Code (also known as the Hays Code or sometimes the Breen Code), a Jane Bennet that is a luckier version of Jean Harlow, a Colonel Fitzwilliam with a dash of Tyrone Power, and as for Darcy…well, I really had to do my best, because there weren’t a lot of studio heads of that era who were really stand-up guys.

I’ll leave with you this and hope that you enjoy “Love in Limelight”:

“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”  My eyes met his, saw that he was serious. A peal of laughter burst from my lips.

“Oh, surely not.”

His expression melted from hope to consternation, brows drawing down into one severe line.

“Are you…laughing at me?”

I shook my head. “Sir. You cannot think I would marry you. Not if you were the last man on earth, and I the last woman.”

His stride—athletic, purposeful—had him across the room and at my side in an instant. I put my hand against the silken folds of his cravat. His hands were warm manacles on my arms. 

“Do you mean to tell me that you don’t love me? You’ve played me a fool?”

My mouth opened, breath catching somewhere behind my teeth. His chest rose and fell like the swelling of the ocean tide. I searched his eyes. Hurt, wounded eyes. I felt myself sliding into that gaze, swooning against my better judgement.

“I…I…”

And then his lips met mine; warm, pliant, and completely still for approximately three seconds.

Cut! That’s a wrap!

What do you think about Beau’s excerpt? I really like it, it gives me goosebumps because even if they are acting within a story of a fiction story… it feels great to read it!

Would you like to buy the book? Why not checking on one of these among other places:

Amazon US          Amazon UK       Amazon CA

time to give away winners

The #OmgItsOHG (Oh-my-gosh, it’s Obstinate Headstrong Girl) Blog Tour began February 18 with announcement and cover reveal at Austenesque Reviews, and we hope you will continue to join us and connect with each author about their “Elizabeth” story. We’ve included a Grand Prize package giveaway (a book of your choosing from each of the eleven author’s backlist) as well as additional giveaway: my Silly Austen-inspired blank note cards and coordinating coffee mug. Open worldwide, so be sure to participate. 1) Enter the Rafflecopter for the Grand Prize package of books, and 2) comment on the blog stops to be counted for the additional giveaway (you need not comment everywhere to be entered in that drawing but we hope you’ll have your share of the conversation.) Ends March 31.

“Sanditon” by Jane Austen and Kate Riordan, review

Dear all,

I am very happy to be able to share with you my opinion of Sanditon by Jane Austen and Kate Riordan based on Andrew Davies’ TV adaptation/continuation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel written in 1817. First of all, I have to admit that I have not read Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, therefore my review is purely about the book by Kate Riordan. Therefore, if you are a “purist” who does not like people to change Jane Austen’s words or characters or style, you will not like this book. However, if you are like me that you enjoy Jane Austen Fan Fiction, variations, what ifs, prequels, sequels, etc. give it a go!

Apologies for posting my review late, work this week was intense and I could not make it. Thank you to Kate Riordan and Grand Central Publishing for counting on me for this tour and for providing me with the lovely books: Sanditon and The Works of Sanditon: the official companion. Thank you Laurel Ann Nattress for organising the blog tour.

Enjoy the blurb of the book:

In the vein of Downton Abbey, Jane Austen’s beloved but unfinished masterpiece-often considered her most modern and exciting novel-gets a spectacular second act in this tie-in to a major new limited television series.

Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker. When a chance accident transports her from her rural hometown of Willingden to the would-be coastal resort of the eponymous title, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success. The twists and turns of the plot, which takes viewers from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London, exposes the hidden agendas of each character and sees Charlotte discover herself… and ultimately find love.

Twists and turns of the plot indeed! 😉

Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist from England. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at the Guardian newspaper, followed by a stint as deputy editor for the lifestyle section of London bible, Time Out magazine. There she had assignments that saw her racing reindeers in Lapland, going undercover in London’s premier department store and gleaning writing tips (none-too subtly) during interviews with some of her favorite authors. After becoming a freelancer, she left London behind and moved to the beautiful Cotswolds in order to write her first novel.

Want it already?

Here you can find some places to check it:

Blog schedule

Do not miss these great stops, you are going to enjoy a vast pool of reviews and excerpts.

January 13                Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog

January 14                History Lizzie

January 17                Babblings of a Bookworm

January 20                Confessions of a Book Addict

January 20                Living Read Girl

January 25                Margie’s Must Reads

January 26                My Jane Austen Book Club

February 03              The Lit Bitch

February 10              Unabridged Chick

February 10              Laura’s Reviews

February 13              Bookfoolery

February 14              Half Agony, Half Hope

February 17              Scuffed Slippers, Wormy Books

February 18              Impressions in Ink

February 23              From Pemberley to Milton

February 24              So Little Time…

February 24              Vesper’s Place

February 26              Austenesque Reviews

February 28              My Vices and Weaknesses

Review

Charlotte Heywood is a very naive girl but a bit outspoken, but not in a Lizzie Bennet’s way. By chance, she sees herself invited to stay in Sanditon, a town that is being remodelled into a top destination for holidays. Everything is new for her, from seeing the sea to being in a grand ballroom. Charlotte does not know the world and the vices that exist.

Sydney Parker, at the very beginning with his businesses and friends I was not sure what to expect but he then opened his mouth to talk to Charlotte… Even if she has a big mouth, he is not polite to her and his way of talking to her is more like the one of a brute than a gentleman. His animosity towards her is far too big because he is very kind to his family.

However, even when “angry” at each other, they keep talking, sometimes not very politely, some other in a more civilised way. She is open to the world, he is closed to some thing in the world. This is a recipe to catastrophe or perhaps not…

About the other characters, there is a lot to say but I will just mention general ideas to maybe pick your curiosity if you have not read the book or you have not watch the TV adaptation, here you have a few things to know: there is an obsessed man with an almost utopian town and her wife that could be seen as a saint; there is a Lady-Catherine-De-Bough-like woman who is a mean benefactress and childlesss rich woman, is she really mean?; there is a young enthusiastic man who wants to improve in life despite is origin; there is a rich heiress who just wants to be loved and be freed from the hypocrisy of part of society; there is also a pair of step-siblings whose relationship is not very healthy (worse than the Crawfords),;there is a man that wants to pursue a woman who completely ignores and “despises” him (I kind of like him though), etc. Did you understand anything that I describe? Maybe not everything but there is so much to read about.

Because of the story, the characters, the writing or whatever other reason that I can think of, I was hooked! I could not stop reading the book to see what was going on. I barely have time to read but I had to carry on reading Sanditon to see what else was there. I think I was as eager to read the book as Charlotte to know about the world.

To sum up: I have enjoyed the book, there are quite a few things that may not be very Jane Austen-like (e.g. the ending), the author may have taken a lot of liberties from a more “purist” viewpoint, etc. but what I need at the end of the day is a book that makes me feel. It can make me feel happy, or sad, or intrigued, a book that makes me escape from the “normal” daily life, makes me immerse in a different world and also makes me imagine these characters in different scenarios. Reading fiction for me is a way of relaxation even if that includes wanting to read all the time, when I do not have it!

4.5out5 stars

I have read some people stating that some of the topics on the book could have never been used by Jane Austen. I kind of differ, I am not a scholar on Jane Austen’s matters but only by reading her books you can see that she knew about her time. For instance, before even reading Mansfield Park, I watch two of the movies and then I read the book and we can see how Jane Austen writes about slavery or infidelity. She knows a lot and perhaps she may have not chosen to write a scene where one character is doing oral sex to another character and there is a third person who happens to see that something is going on (without knowing what is going on). I think that she may have not been totally naive, although unmarried, she was mainly a writer and, as far as I believe, a writer reads, a writer has curiosity, a writer does not shy from knowing. I agree with people’s opinion that the ending is not our cup of tea, I would have prefer something different (do not worry, I am not spoiling the ending). However, it is a variation, it is not Jane Austen writing (unfortunately) but I believe that authors can decide whatever they want. Yes, readers decide, we decide if we like it or not and a lot of authors try to only look for what their audience want. However, that is not a must, if I could write, I would write first for me and then for the readers. Once I would know what readers want, I could look for a middle ground but at the end of the day, an author writes for him or herself. Isn’t it? I may be wrong but I accept everybody’s opinion and I hope people accepts my opinion that Sanditon is a really good book. As I said, I was hooked and for me that is enough to make a novel a good one.

Now I need to try to watch the series 🙂

“Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match” by Kelly Miller, character interview, excerpt and giveaway

When secrets are revealed and a family agenda works against him, can Fitzwilliam Darcy recover his damaged spirits and find happiness?
Following his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to London from Kent broken-hearted and dejected. One bright spot penetrates his sea of despair: his sister, Georgiana, has finally recovered her spirits from the grievous events at Ramsgate the previous summer. She has forged a new friendship with Miss Hester Drake, a lady who appears to be an ideal friend. In fact, Lady Matlock believes Miss Drake is Darcy’s perfect match.
Upon Elizabeth Bennet’s arrival at the Gardiners’ home from Kent, she finds that her sister Jane remains despondent over her abandonment by Mr. Bingley. But Elizabeth has information that might bring them together. She convinces her Uncle Gardiner to write a letter to Mr. Bingley providing key facts supplied to her by Mr. Darcy.
When Mr. Bingley discovers that his friend and sisters colluded to keep Jane’s presence in London from him, how will he respond? Given the chance, will Darcy and Elizabeth overcome their past misunderstandings? What will Darcy do when his beloved sister becomes a hindrance towards winning the lady he loves?

So, Elizabeth betrays Fitzwilliam telling Bingley about his role on separating him from Jane? Wow! I already like it! What do you think about it? Maybe she is not Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match? 😉

I would like to welcome once again Kelly Miller to My Vices and Weaknesses. You may remember her because if her original variation of Death takes a holiday at Pemberley.

Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.

Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match is her second novel published by Meryton Press. Her first was the Regency novel Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy. Her third novel, Accusing Mr. Darcy, will be released later in 2020.

Kelly is sharing so much with us; I hope you enjoy this delightful interview with Miss Georgiana Darcy.

Hello and greetings to all of the lovely followers of My Vices and Weaknesses. Today I have the privilege of speaking with Miss Georgiana Darcy, who plays a pivotal role in my latest book, Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match. Although Miss Darcy is modest and unused to being the subject of such attention, she has graciously agreed to participate in this interview.

KM: Miss Darcy, although readers of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice know you are the sister of Fitzwilliam Darcy, and your character is important to the plot of the story, you are “present” in the novel for only a short period of time. Therefore, much is unknown about you. For those who would like to know you better, would you mind sharing a fact or two about you that is not common knowledge?
GD: Oh dear. It is disquieting to consider that everyone who read Pride and Prejudice is aware of the terrible mistake I made that almost ruined my life. They must believe me to be silly, irresponsible, or worse!

KM: Not at all, Miss Darcy. I am certain that readers realize who the villains were at Ramsgate, and you were not one of them. It is known that you play the pianoforte and are fond of music. What are some of your other interests?
GD: I enjoy painting, embroidery, and riding. Recently, I have grown fond of long walks.

KM: What was your childhood like?
GD: My father was very good to me. I have many happy memories of spending time my father; he used to take me to visit the animals on the estate, and he taught me how to ride. There was nothing he would not do to ensure my well-being. I especially loved the occasions when Fitzwilliam was home from school. He was always a wonderful brother to me. My earliest memories are of Fitzwilliam reading to me or showing me a puzzle, toy, or game he had loved as a child. I had several nurses and governesses to look after me, and I was fond of many of them, but I wished my mother had lived longer. She passed away shortly after my birth, so I have no memories of her. I was lonely a great deal of the time. You see, in my youth, I was not allowed to play with other children.

KM: Really? Why was that? Were there not other estate owners near Pemberley with children close to your age?
GD: There were, but when I was still in leading strings, there was a terrible outbreak of Scarlet Fever that spread through Derbyshire. I am sorry to say that several of Pemberley’s tenants, and some townspeople from Lambton and Kympton as well, lost their children to the disease. My father was terrified that I would succumb to Scarlet Fever or some other illness. Our family doctor believed that sick children, even before they displayed symptoms of their disease, emitted a dangerous miasma that could sicken others. The doctor cautioned my father against exposing me to them, and my father took that advice.

KM: When were you first exposed to others your own age?
GD: Not until I was thirteen. My father had passed away six months earlier. As you might imagine, it was a terrible time for my brother and me. A great weight of responsibility had fallen upon Fitzwilliam all at once, and the burden of caring for me was a large part of it. Although my cousin Richard was named as my co-guardian, his military duties took him away for months at a time. My brother followed Lady Matlock’s advice and sent me to a girls’ school popular with members of the ton.

KM: Did you look forward to attending school?
GD: No. The idea of it frightened me. Initially, I told Fitzwilliam I did not wish to go. Later, I was convinced to agree to it by my aunt Lady Matlock. She told me it was the best thing for both of us; she said that I would benefit from meeting girls my own age, and Fitzwilliam would be freed from fretting over me so he could concentrate on his other responsibilities.

KM: What was it like for you at the school?
GD: It was…difficult. I entered the school at the Michaelmas term in October. The other students had been enrolled for the entire school year and already knew one another. I have always been a quiet, reserved person, uneasy around people I do not know well. Fitzwilliam is also reserved, but while my brother is capable of being strong, confident, and commanding when he needs to be, I am timid and shy. All of the other girls seemed more confident and sophisticated than I. It was as though they all knew some secret of which I was ignorant. Even in a group of girls my own age, I felt isolated and alone.

KM: Did you make friends at school?
GD: I am afraid not. A few girls took pity upon me. At times they would ask me to join an activity or attempt to draw me into conversation, but I was so mortified by my own awkwardness and my inability to respond with anything relevant or interesting that I soon stopped trying.

KM: Did you not share common interests with any of the girls at school?
GD: It did not seem so. I felt that the other girls at the school were absorbed with similar topics: they gossiped about others, talked endlessly of fashion, and fussed over their own appearances. The older girls were more mature, but if they spoke to me, it was invariably to question me about Fitzwilliam.

KM: How long were you at the school?
GD: Well, Fitzwilliam came to visit me in the beginning of December. He would have visited me sooner, but both the head-mistress and Lady Matlock advised him to wait and give me more time to become adjusted to school. When I saw my brother, I tried to pretend, for his sake, that I did not mind it there, but Fitzwilliam saw through me. When he pressed me, I admitted that I was unhappy. He took from school and hired a governess for me. I was relieved and happy to be back home with Fitzwilliam.

KM: What happened after that?

GD: Unfortunately, Lady Matlock was not pleased when she learned I had left school. I did not return to school in January, after many months and a number of discussions, I agreed to attend a different school at the beginning of the next school year. This time, Fitzwilliam came to visit after one month. I was then about to turn fifteen. When he asked me how I liked being at school, I told him the truth, that I hated it. He took me home that same day.

KM: I shall skip forward now to March of 1812. Mrs. Annesley had been as your companion. By this time, had you put the events of Ramsgate behind you?
GD: In some ways I had. Time had gone by, and the pain of the betrayal had faded. My deepest desire was to have a true friend, but I feared that I was too unlikeable for anyone to befriend me without an ulterior motive.

KM: So this, then, was your mindset at the start of Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match?
GD: Yes, that is correct.

KM: I thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview, and I appreciate your candid replies.
GD: You are quite welcome.

I believe that Georgiana shows so much of her, that we can get to know her better and also, in case she has not been understood by everybody, she can now be more “transparent”.

Now enjoy a beautiful excerpt from Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match. Georgiana cares so much for her brother.
This excerpt features Darcy and Georgiana at their town home in London. The first section is in Darcy’s point of view, the second is in Georgiana’s.

The basket of bread from his sister and added a slice to his plate of roasted chicken, potatoes, and broccoli. Georgiana changed position several times in her chair, an indication that his sister was waiting for the serving girl to leave the room.
Sure enough, they had not been left alone for more than a few seconds before she spoke. “Fitzwilliam, now that you have met Miss Drake, pray, what is your opinion of her?” She peered back at him, frozen in a tense pose.
“She was charming and pleasant. I liked her quite well.”
As she displayed a beaming smile, Georgiana’s voice grew more animated. “I am relieved to hear it. I am certain that you will like her even more as you get to know her better.”
“I should not expect otherwise. I had already sought the opinions of Lady Matlock and Mrs. Annesley before meeting the lady, and I heard nothing to give me any concern.”
She nodded. “I thought you would.” Leaning towards him, she added, “I had no fear for anything they might tell you, but I was afraid you would find a reason to object to Miss Drake just the same.”
“Not at all. She seems a lovely young lady.” At his reply, Georgiana attended to the food on her plate with renewed gusto.
It seemed his sister truly had fretted over his opinion of Miss Drake! This was the first time since Georgiana’s childhood that she found a friend who meant so much to her. The two close friendships cultivated in her youth had both ended in disappointment. One of the girls moved away with her family to Wales; the other inexplicably rejected Georgiana after developing a close friendship with another girl.
This recent alteration in his sister—her frequent smiles, the esprit exhibited in her actions, and her propensity to talk to him more than before—was gratifying. Would that he could follow her lead and raise his own spirits. After all, what sort of brother was he to continue to wallow in self-pity over so commonplace an occurrence as unrequited love in the face of his sister’s newfound happiness? Were he a poet, he would have exorcised his pain in the composition of a lyrical ballad and be done with it; but he had neither the talent nor the inclination for such a creative outlet. What then could he do to break Miss Bennet’s unrelenting hold upon his battered heart? He flinched as his sister’s voice broke through his thoughts.
“… and Miss Drake is always so poised and assured. She never seems to be intimidated by others. She is attentive and kind to me without being the least bit ingratiating. She is so…genuine. It seems each time I meet with her I find another reason to admire her.”
“It sounds as though Miss Drake has an abundance of commendable qualities.” He brushed his napkin over his mouth to conceal his sigh. If only his sister’s effusions for this lady did not elicit thoughts of another lady—one no less admirable.
***
Later that evening, after Fitzwilliam had retreated to his study, Georgiana passed the entry hall and halted at the sound of voices. Slade spoke to a gentleman at the front door. She lingered, catching the end of Slade’s speech: he told the caller her brother was not at home. When Slade entered the hall, he nodded at her and would have walked by, but on impulse, she called to him.
Slade stopped and turned to face her. “Yes, miss?”
“Who was at the door?”
The butler’s visage was almost impassive but for the faint grooves between the man’s brows. “It was Mr. Kendall, miss.”
Her jaw lowered but no immediate response came to mind. Mr. Kendall was a good friend of Fitzwilliam. It was not unusual for the gentleman to stop by their home for an evening and stay to play a game of billiards or chess with her brother. Fitzwilliam often met with friends like Mr. Kendall at his club for a drink or a shared meal, but her brother had not been there since his return home. A sudden heaviness in her chest prompted her to step closer to the wall and rest her shoulder against it. “Why did you tell Mr. Kendall that my brother was not at home?”
Slade stiffened and leaned back upon his heels. For a moment, it seemed as though he would refuse to answer her. At length, he said, “I am following the master’s orders, miss. He is home to no one other than family.”
“I see. Thank you, Slade.” As the butler walked away, she ambled to the next room and sank heavily upon the nearest chair. Why would Fitzwilliam avoid Mr. Kendall or any of his other friends? Her brother had already denied more than once that anything was wrong, so asking him again would do no good. However, if Fitzwilliam continued this odd behaviour much longer, she would write to Cousin Richard. He would know what to do.

Would you like to buy this book? I cannot wait to read it!

Blog tour
I recommend you to check the previous posts as you will find so much more about our beloved characters.

January 27 Austenesque Reviews

January 28 My Jane Austen Book Club

January 29 Austenprose

January 30 So Little Time…

January 31 Babblings of a Bookworm

February 3 More Agreeably Engaged

February 4 Savvy Verse & Wit

February 6 Donadee’s Corner

February 7 Diary of an Eccentric

February 10 From Pemberley to Milton

February 11 My Vices and Weaknesses

Meryton Press is giving away 8 giveaways for 8 different winners. Just click the link below and follow the instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match

“Thaw” by Anniina Sjöblom, excerpt + giveaway

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one false step can involve a lady in endless ruin. On a rainy November day in 1811, Miss Elizabeth Bennet finds herself wondering why no one ever bothered to tell her about this.
A few blithe steps on a morning walk, taken after a succession of rain, lead to unexpected events that irrevocably change the course of Elizabeth’s life, placing her fate in the hands of the haughty and conceited Mr. Darcy – the last man in the world she had ever thought to marry.
As long winter days slowly pass, she writes letters to her loved ones, trying to come to terms with her new role as a wife and the Mistress of Pemberley. But can she ever learn to love her husband? Will he overcome his arrogant notions of rank and circumstance?
And most importantly – will the shades of Pemberley ever recover from being thus polluted?

It would have been a nice thing to be told, indeed! Even more for Elizabeth who is a keen walker. What what? She is married to Darcy and she is not happy? 😉

I love letters and I am looking forward to read some of these letters. You can expect much more and for everything I have read so far about Thaw, I can say that you cannot miss it! I cannot wait to have some time to read it and enjoy this story.

I would like to welcome, Anniina Sjöblom to My Vices and Weaknesses and I would like to wish her all the best with her writing. You may have read her before, I have and it is really good.
Anniina Sjöblom lives in the beautiful but cold Finland and works in university administration. She has an MA in History and enjoys a long-standing love affair with the works of Jane Austen.

author
Her previous works include titles such as Thirteen Days, Fix You and When He Comes Back, published in various online Austenesque forums under the pen name boogima. The new novella Thaw, expanded from the original version of the story first published online in 2011, is her first commercially published work.
When not writing, Anniina spends her time hanging out with friends, binge-watching TV dramas and re-reading her favourite books while the stack of new ones still waiting to be read piles higher on her nightstand. She can ride a unicycle, and once, after losing an unfortunate bet, ate a bowl of ice cream with green dish soap as dressing. She does not recommend attempting it to anyone.

I can totally relate to rereading books while your pile of new books is growing but, thankfully, I do not know about losing bets which involve dish soap!

Anniina is giving us some insight of her novel and I really hope you like this excerpt.
Thank you, Ana, for inviting me to post an excerpt at My Vices and Weaknesses as a part of the Thaw blog tour! The following is an excerpt from a letter Elizabeth writes to her Aunt Gardiner in November 1811, after something unexpected has happened to cause a wave of gossip about a supposed improper encounter between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy by a small pond near Longbourn.
Excerpt
Mama has taken to her apartment and refuses to come out. She is quite despondent, and I am not sure I can blame her. The focus of her vexation varies from our neighbours—how could they have used us so ill?— to myself. To my endless consternation, she seems to entertain a suspicion every now and then that perhaps I did something improper to cause this after all. It need not be said how very much it offends me.
Though at first he barely seemed to take notice of the matter, pausing only to admire the absurdity of it all, even Papa has grown serious. It is perhaps because our cousin cannot stop talking about it—though he does appear more concerned for the damage any further connexion to us could cause to himself (and, of course, by association, to Lady Catherine de Bourgh) than of the damage to our family. All thoughts of the olive branch he came here to offer are forgotten. It is a blessing, I believe, on both sides that he is leaving us today.
I should wish him gone already, but he refuses to leave until Papa and Mr Darcy emerge from the library. Earlier this morning, against my express wishes (I had hoped that from this one embarrassment, at least, I could be spared), Papa sent a servant to Netherfield with a request for a visit from Mr Darcy. He responded to the summons with unexpected alacrity, arriving with the servant instead of sending a note. After entering the house, he marched directly into the library without a word to any of us. I daresay I have never seen anyone look quite so cross.
More than an hour has now passed since his arrival. I have not been offered the privilege of participating in whatever conversation is taking place between them. The more time passes, the more I dread what is being said. Mr Collins is deeply offended that he has not been included in the discussion. His things have been packed and the horses are ready, but he is pacing stubbornly back and forth in the yard, waiting for the gentlemen in the library to come out. I have been led to understand that he feels duty-bound to give as thorough a report of the situation to his patroness as possible. Insufferable gossip.
Oh, Aunt! I am shocked; I am humiliated. I know it is not quite sound, but I cannot help placing some of the blame for what has happened on Mr Darcy. These people are my friends and neighbours, most of whom I have known all my life. It cannot be on my account that someone has seen fit to spread such malicious lies. It is his pride and arrogance that everyone is so universally disgusted with. If only he had behaved with more civility towards the society here, then perhaps this could all have been avoided. If only he had left me to my own devices that day. I would rather be at the bottom of Mr Thompson’s pond than in the situation I currently find myself in. (Very well, it is an exaggeration. I am not stupid enough to not understand that, whatever his faults, he has done me a kindness. But I cannot help it. And I am sure that he already very much regrets his actions.)
I will end now; if you have read thus far, you have already endured more than your share of this misery. Jane is trying to encourage me to go walking with her in the garden, but I am not sure I am willing to comply. She thinks a little fresh air would serve me well, but who knows what further calamity will befall me if I ever set foot out of this house again?

image2

What do you think? Elizabeth Bennet not wanting to go outside the house? No more walking for her? It is a bit dramatic, don’t you think? or, is it?

If you are already hooked, why not buying Thaw now? You could do it on:

Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon US

time to give away winners

Quills & Quartos Publishing is giving away one ebook of THAW per blog tour stop. All you need to do to enter the giveaway is comment on this blog post, and Quills & Quartos will randomly choose winners for the entire blog tour on January 22. So, make sure you join in the conversation!